Resolutions for 2018

Resolutions are a way for all of us to take a close look in the mirror at least once a year and decide what we like and what needs to be changed.

And that is the beauty of it - we can change.

We have the power within us to change our circumstances, our surroundings and/or our attitudes. Change is hard so we encourage everyone to take “baby steps” towards their goals. Diets and exercise plans that go full force for the first two weeks of the year may not last. But making small changes each week, adding time or routines, will make success a whole lot more attainable.

Besides making personal resolutions, we like to take a look back over the last year to see if we have made progress as a community and determine what our new goals should be.

At the beginning of 2017, we wished for an improved healthcare landscape for our citizens.

That is one goal which we can defnitely say has improved.

Since the beginning of the year, an urgent care has opened, local providers have expanded services, EMS services have upgraded, a regional emergency department has been announced and construction begun, and the county has provided “memberships” to ensure all Barnwell County residents are covered in case they need to be flown out by air ambulance.

Wow. That’s a lot in one year.

Having a local hospital probably isn’t possible in the near future but having enhanced access to medical care locally and getting to regional medical centers quickly is a major step in the right direction.

We thank all those who have had a part in improving healthcare in our rural community.

We hope that this effort is just the beginning. Providing quality healthcare in rural communities is a challenge, not just locally but across the nation. Finding solutions for our nation and our community can begin here.

Crime was our second resolution for 2017. Determining how we as a community are doing on detering crime is a tough call.

There is still a lot of crime impacting the lives of Barnwell County residents.

The use of drugs, particularly fentanyl, is of grave concern.

We are proud of the fifth graders who recently graduated from the DARE program and remind them and former graduates to remember the lessons taught there - resist, respect and report.

As individuals we need to take resonsibility for prescription and over-the-counter drugs in our homes. Lock up your drugs to keep them out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. Dispose of old drugs properly - there are several disposal sites in the county. And be willing to report suspicious activity to someone in authority.

Our third resolution for 2017 was an improved economy.

We have been thrilled with the expansions announced from local industries and the ribbon-cuttings of new or enhanced businesses in our communities.

At the same time we have watched the unemployment rate drop over the past 12 months. That’s great news.

Barnwell County is a great place to live and work. We ask that our residents support our local businesses in 2018.

Taxes...ick. We all hate taxes but we have been pleased with the progress already underway as a result of the 1 percent Capital Sales Tax which went into effect this year.

Improvements in water and sewer lines, parks and recreation, waste management and removal of dilapidated housing is already underway. We look forward to the completion of those projects to enhance the lives of our residents.

And again this year we hope for the continued charity of our residents who come together to help those in need. This is a caring community and its love shows.

We wish you all a Happy New Year. May your 2018 be prosperous and happy.